I like it. I like the fact that I can just sit there and observe my thoughts and feelings and then go back to watching my breathing. It really does teach me to be centered and balanced. I look forward to the next several weeks. By the way, what I am doing now is meditating for 23 minutes in the early morning and again 23 minutes in the early evening. I’ll check back with you.
Participants were experienced practitioners of Acem Meditation, a nondirective method developed in Norway. They were asked to rest, eyes closed, for 20 minutes, and to meditate for another 20 minutes, in random order. The abundance and location of slow to fast electrical brain waves (delta, theta, alpha, beta) provide a good indication of brain activity.
A good recording will also not immediately start with tones that produce the theta range, but will begin higher up, in the beta range (which is associated with anxiety, but also active concentration and other waking states of being), and gradually move down, through the alpha range (which is the ideal meditative wavelength, but is also associated with falling asleep) before moving into the final, theta, range. If you get a binaural beat that goes directly into the theta range, you might find yourself distracted or unable to sync up as easily.
I was not looking forward to returning back to my house as I live on my own so was very pleased to see that the “equisync” CDs had arrived in my absence. Ever since I have been back I put a CD on each evening and the change has been totally fantastic. The meditation is unbelievably calming and soothing, the inner-voice has been silenced and quite often I just put it on to drop off to sleep with the sound of gently falling rain. I can feel each day starting calmly and things like organising the memorial service have not been the strain and upset I would normally have expected. I could wax lyrical for hours because the benefits are truly and utterly fantastic. Never did I think I would find anything that would lift my spirits, clear my mind, calm the inner space but Equi-Sync has done that, and more.
When you play a tone with a slightly different frequency into your left and right ear — say, 200 hertz (Hz) in one and 210 Hz in the other — they travel separately to your inferior colliculus, the part of your brain that gathers auditory input. There, the tones “squelch” together into a so-called “beat” at a perceived new frequency. (In this case, it would be 10 Hz.)
OK – so some of this is pretty common marketing hype. Consumers have become almost numb to such hyperbole. But still we see some of the common – almost ubiquitous – elements of pseudoscientific scams. The company claims that the device is “effort-free”, that the results are “rapid and long-lasting,” that it is the “most effective” method of its kind, and that it is useful for a broad range of applications (hey, why limit the market). I am used to such hype about dishwashing detergent, but find it intolerable when applied to a pseudoscientific device with medical applications.
The reason this rule of thumb is so useful is because there is a huge market for simple answers. A genuine elegant solution (one that accomplishes more with less) is highly valuable in the marketplace. We are used to technology delivering new easy solutions to previously difficult tasks. While most improvements are incremental, there are occasional breakthroughs that transform our lives.
a concise P.S. I was in a horrible car accident when I was 18 and had to learn to read and write and walk and talk all over again. It was long ago and I’m pretty well over it, but such an injury has lifetime repercussions. The neurological damage sustained causes my left arm to shake uncontrollably anytime I use it in a situation requiring precise coordination. From simply listening to the demo, the shake [though not disappearing completely in the last 2 months] has lessened dramatically. I had been wondering for years what kind of neurological exercises I could undergo to help it…
There are differences between high (over 18 hertz), mid (15 to 18 hertz), and low range beta states (12 to 15 hertz). Low beta states are more relaxed while still being focused, making this a good range for many daily work related tasks like balancing a checkbook, making a shopping list, or driving to a new place. However, people with attention deficit disorder lack the mental focus for doing these types of activities, and studies have found people with ADD are often low in this range of beta brainwaves.
Brainwave Entrainment has been used possibly as far back as 200AD, where Ptolemy of the Ancient Greeks noted the effect of flicking sunlight created by a spinning wheel. The first recorded clinical application was by a French psychologist, who again used a spinning wheel but this time illuminated with a lantern instead of the sun. He noted that his patients appeared calmer when they looked into the flickering light, so he used it as a relaxation technique whenever it was needed.
We practice Kundalini Yoga and Meditation to change our brainwaves so that we can be mentally and emotionally balanced. The meditation below, taken from my book The Power of Neutral, will specifically change your brainwaves. With consistent practice, you will notice that you do not unconsciously react, things in life do not bother you so much and you will feel more stable and neutral in your life situations.
The mechanism for this is that when your eyes or ears are exposed to a particular frequency of pulses or beats, the thalamus first distributes this information to the entire brain, including the visual and cerebral cortex where neural activity begins to synchronize to the incoming frequency, producing hemispheric synchronization and a balance of brainwave activity across the brain.
Binaural beats are not a physical noise or sound per se. Rather binaural beats are a sort of phantom tone which is manufactured by the brain when two different tones are played in each ear. For the binaural beat to be perceived you need stereo headphones and the frequency of the two different tones coming into each ear must be below 1000hz, and no more than 30hz apart. If they are more than 30hz apart you will simply hear a tone in each ear, one louder than the other. But if the difference between the beats is below 30hz you hear the binaural beats.
Brainwave entrainment through audio can be triggered through a variety of techniques, including binaural beats, isochronic tones, monaural beats, and modified audio tracks. The brainwavetones are embedded into the audio and the listener is unaware of their presence. He or she simply enjoys the audio track as a pleasurable listening experience, while the various tones generate frequencies in a way that encourages the brainwaves to respond and “get in step.”
Hi EJ, at the moment, there hasn’t been any research to give an indication of how long you should or shouldn’t listen for. Over time, I’ve seen people use my tracks for longer and longer. I started off providing 30-minute study tracks, but through demand, I extended them to 3-hours. I know from the many thousands of comments I’ve had on YouTube that a large number of people play those 3-hour tracks on repeat, or listen to different ones, one after the other throughout the day. I’ve also seen apps where you can play tracks like mine on continuous repeat. So it’s common for people to listen to them all day while they are studying.
Entrainment is a phenomenon by which some external sensory stimulation synchronizes brainwaves differently than the native rhythm. The most obvious example of this is photic driving – during an EEG the subject will have a strobe light flashed before them at various frequencies. The purpose of this is to see if it will trigger seizure activity. In many normal subjects the brain wave rhythm in the occipital lobes, which is the visual part of the cortex, will match its frequency to the frequency of the strobe light. This specifically is called photic driving, but the phenomenon in general is called entrainment.
So, what we’re doing is combining these two parts, the awakening of complete stillness and deep relaxation with the rhythmic sounds, and embedding all frequencies within the music from right at the upper limits of human hearing to the lower limits. There is multi-level entrainment within Journey—I’ve layered in everything I know about audio brainwave entrainment into this track.
^ Jump up to: a b Fox, Kieran C.R.; Nijeboer, Savannah; Dixon, Matthew L.; Floman, James L.; Ellamil, Melissa; Rumak, Samuel P.; Sedlmeier, Peter; Christoff, Kalina (June 2014). "Is meditation associated with altered brain structure? A systematic review and meta-analysis of morphometric neuroimaging in meditation practitioners". Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews. 43: 48–73. doi:10.1016/j.neubiorev.2014.03.016. PMID 24705269.
When you listen to binaural beats/tones, you are actually listening to two slightly different pitched frequencies. Each frequency goes to each of your ears independently. When this happens your brain responds by creating a third tone, making up the difference between the two frequencies. This shift in frequency then shifts your brain’s consciousness and changes your state.
When blended with musical sounds, brainwave entrainment frequencies induce specific states of mind, which are the result of those brainwaves, delivering them in pleasing and relaxing audio tracts for use with and without stereo headphones. For example, alpha and theta waves, because they exist at the borders between conscious and unconscious thought, are especially rich and useful for tapping into and stimulating subconscious processes.
Both brainwave entrainment and neurofeedback deal with brainwaves, but the similarity stops there. Entrainment pushes your whole brain into a pre-determined state, while neurofeedback teaches you how to move specific parts of your brain on your own. It is the differeence between forcing the brain into a given position, and skills building so you can move it there yourself.
“The great neuroscientist W. Gray Walter carried out a series of experiments in the late forties and fifties in which he used an electronic stroboscopic device in combination with EEG equipment to send rhythmic light flashes into the eyes of the subjects at frequencies ranging from ten to twenty five flashes per second. He was startled to find that the flickering seemed to alter the brain-wave activity of the whole cortex instead of just the areas associated with vision. Wrote Walter, “The rhythmic series of flashes appear to be breaking down some of the physiologic barriers between different regions of the brain. This means the stimulus of flicker received by the visual projection area of the cortex was breaking bounds— its ripples were overflowing into other areas.”
Results of this research proved that, indeed, the brain would entrain itself to the frequency equal to the difference between the two frequencies played. So if a subject listened to a 210 hertz tone in one ear and a 214 hertz tone in the other, the 4 hertz difference is the perceived “beat” that the brain, after listening for a while, will match itself to.
So, in summary, binaural beats certainly do not work the way the sellers claim, but there's no reason to think they're any less effective than any other music track you might listen to that effects you in a way you like. If they make you sleepy (like they all do for me), use them to go to sleep. If they relax you or get you amped, use them for that. But don't expect them to be any more effective than regular music. If someone you know claims that they are, put them to the test, and bust the myth.